I would like to personally thank the UMBC Community for not just an incredible Quad Mania, but an amazing five years. Thank you to the volunteers and staff responsible for making this weekend happen. Thanks to the people who said “Launching fireworks off the Commons Garage? Let’s try it!”. Thanks to the people who worked 40+ hours over three days to give students an experience that they will always remember. Thanks to the people who understand that this event is so much more than a concert and some rides, it’s a chance to bring this community together.
Most of all, I would like to thank my fellow UMBC students. We are not like most schools. We are young and growing, still forming our traditions and molding this school into the place that we want it to be. Something that we say all of the time in our office is that “(seb) is what you make it”. I think that saying extends outside of our group and to the UMBC community as a whole. Thousands of you joined us this weekend to show that this school is more than just a place to get a degree. We are a place where people from all walks of life can come together and make something awesome happen.
I know it sounds cheesy, but make the most of your time here. Put down the textbook for a little bit and try something new. I would have never thought that awkwardly walking into an (seb) meeting my first week of school would change my life, but it did. I am a completely different person because of (seb), this school, and the people who I have met here. Thank you so much for the lessons, memories, and friendships. It’s been a crazy ride.
We have an announcement and want to get right to it. The elephants are not going to be part of the Quad Mania festival. We began the process for securing the elephants and all the necessary paperwork several months ago. This was all completed and was relatively simple, given that they were on campus 4 years ago. We know the elephants brought some controversy, but we did our homework and had evidence to support that these animals were very well cared for. We know that much of what we do has an inherent amount of risk, but we enlist experts and follow a strict protocol for how we make our events happen. We know the response to elephants 4 years ago was great and this year, people were excited to meet the animals. It’s a once in a lifetime experience that we were excited to provide. We are students too, and want what you want, so this is very disappointing news for us as well.
In recent days, additional information was presented to the University that raised concerns about elephants in captivity. We feel confident about the treatment of the animals we were hosting, but a recent incident in Missouri has put the topic of elephants on the national radar. There are several agencies looking into the guidelines around elephants and their interactions with humans and the rules are evolving. Clearly student safety is a priority and after much deliberation and by the recommendation of legal counsel, we were advised to terminate our contract with our elephant provider. This was a tough decision, but we pride ourselves on both advocating for our fellow students and being good partners to the University.
We know this annoucement creates a great deal of disappointment for many. And there is nothing more important to (seb) than our name. We provide over 145 events a semester and it is rare that we need to cancel or adjust those events. In an effort to make some peace, we are offering Quad Mania festival tickets on Saturday for $5. This will include carnival rides, carnival games, fireworks, and national recording artist A Great Big World. It is going to be a great day and we hope that you will join us.
If you purchased a $10 ticket already, we hope that you and your friends will join us at the festival and we will navigate the change in price at the gate for you. We are an open organization and are always willing to answer your questions. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.